Kind Of Terrifying: Video Demonstration Of A Tesla Car Completely Driving Itself

October 21, 2016

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As the beginning of the video notes: The person in the driver's seat is only there for legal reasons. He is not doing anything. The car is driving itself.

This is a video of a Tesla demonstrating the "full self-driving hardware" that the company just announced will come installed on all new models, although it won't be immediately available for use while the company continues to fine-tune the system and make our dreams of a Jetsons future come true. Make them fly, Elon!

We are excited to announce that, as of today, all Tesla vehicles produced in our factory - including Model 3 - will have the hardware needed for full self-driving capability at a safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver. Eight surround cameras provide 360 degree visibility around the car at up to 250 meters of range. Twelve updated ultrasonic sensors complement this vision, allowing for detection of both hard and soft objects at nearly twice the distance of the prior system. A forward-facing radar with enhanced processing provides additional data about the world on a redundant wavelength, capable of seeing through heavy rain, fog, dust and even the car ahead.


To make sense of all of this data, a new onboard computer with more than 40 times the computing power of the previous generation runs the new Tesla-developed neural net for vision, sonar and radar processing software. Together, this system provides a view of the world that a driver alone cannot access, seeing in every direction simultaneously and on wavelengths that go far beyond the human senses.

The video is a little unnerving to watch as the car navigates stop signs and red lights and pulls into traffic on the freeway. I kept waiting for it to pull out in front of a car doing 60MPH, but it never did. Maybe they're really on to something here. I mean, I feel like a self-driving car that only works right 50% of the time is still safer than anybody texting.

Hit the jump for the video.

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